Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy
What Is Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy and Can It Help You?
We all have different aspects or “parts” of our personalities. We may not pay much attention to this fact, but we inherently know it to be true…
How many times have you thought to yourself or said out loud to someone else something like, “Part of me wants to look for a new job, but another part thinks it’s the worst possible time to do so” or “Part of me thinks this relationship just won’t work, but part of me knows we still have a chance to make it better?”
Unfortunately, while the various aspects or parts of our personalities are perfectly natural, most of us don’t pay much attention to them even though they often account for a large part of our internal dialogues, and experience in life.
When we want to do something with all of our being, there usually isn’t much internal debate or conflict…
But when different parts of ourselves want or need different things, we can start to feel stuck, confused, or overwhelmed. And these feelings, if left unaddressed, can lead to anxiety, stress, depression, as well as difficulties in our relationships with others.
To make matters worse, we often don’t just ignore the different parts of ourselves… we resist or deny unpleasant feelings and the various aspects of our personalities – choosing instead to try and numb ourselves or escape through the use and abuse of food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, the internet, work, relationships, or by doing anything else that seems to decrease our pain and discomfort.
While these may be natural human responses to pain, they ultimately leave us feeling empty and disconnected from others and ourselves.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is designed to help you navigate your internal world so that you can understand and unburden the different parts of you that don’t know how to trust your Self-leadership, so that you can have a different relationship with states of anxiety, stress, fear, and self-doubt, and live a more authentic life in accordance with your values and goals.
How Does Internal Family Systems Therapy Work?
IFS uses a family systems model to better understand, heal, and unburden our various parts that impact our degree of access that we have to our true Self.
Each aspect or part of our personalities has a positive intent. In other words, each sub-personality that connects to our greater Self is trying to help us in its own way, even if the ways it tries to help are counterproductive or dysfunctional.
Accordingly, the goal of IFS therapy is to help you talk TO each of your parts, so you can heal any wounded aspects of your personality and restore connection and balance to your life.
This is why IFS is considered an experiential therapy…
You’re not just sitting in a chair talking about the different parts of your personality. You’re actually listening to and engaging in a dialogue with each part, which can lead to powerful and dynamic changes.
Typically, the first step in our work together will be for you to get in touch with your true, core Self, and the different parts of you that tend to block your access to Self.
From there, we’ll work to help you better know and understand the various roles your “Protector” parts play – these are the parts of your personality that help determine how you interact with the world around you and are often working overtime trying to save the wounded “Exile” parts of your personality from further pain and suffering.
Lastly, with the permission of your “Protectors,” you’ll get in touch with the “Exile” parts of your self – the parts of your personality that have been wounded or traumatized in the past – so you can heal and unburden them, allowing the Protector aspects of your personality to take on a healthy, more balanced role by restoring control to your true, core, authentic Self.
Is IFS Therapy Right for You?
While Internal Family Systems treatment can take some time to be effective and isn’t right for everyone, learning to better understand and value your feelings and compassionately connect with the different parts of your personality that impact your access to your true Self can change your life dramatically.
And IFS therapy can help you do just that!
IFS offers an extremely effective way for you to safely connect with and heal any anxiety, anger, shame, grief, guilt, or fear you’ve been struggling with, as well as get in touch with the strength and resilience your true Self possesses and deepen your Self-awareness, so you can get clear about what you want most and create the relationships and life you truly desire.
If you’d like more information about how Internal Family Systems therapy and online IFS therapy can help you achieve a greater sense of internal peace, clarity, and personal empowerment, please feel free to contact me at 510-735-8868 or email me at email@example.com with any questions you have or to schedule an initial consultation. I look forward to speaking with you and helping you create a life that’s truly worth living.